The Akhal-Tekkiner is considered to be a particularly enduring, frugal and spirited horse. As a desert horse, it has learned to get by with little and to do a lot even over long distances, which has resulted in a unique endurance horse.
Extremely sure-footed, the Akhal-Teke can cover long distances through tough conditions in a short time with its expansive movements. Its robust nature and nerves of steel combined with its strong will make the desert horse breed a popular sport and leisure horse worldwide today. The Akhal-Teke does not only excel at endurance rides: there have also been a number of successful horses of his kind in show jumping and dressage.
Because the Akhal-Teke is not only persistent, but also extremely willing to perform – he wants to be encouraged, is curious and demanding. If a human responds to him, a close bond can develop between the loyal Akhal-Teke and his human. Provided you treat him accordingly. If he is treated badly or neglected, the Akhal-Teke clearly shows what doesn’t suit him.
Although the Akhal-Teke is a warm-blooded animal, its appearance is more like that of a thoroughbred. It was precisely this elegant appearance, combined with his temperamental character, that also ensured that the Akhal-Teke was willingly crossed with stronger European horse breeds in order to refine them.
The Akhal-Teke horse is often referred to as the “most beautiful horse in the world” because of its unusual fur, which often has a metallic shimmer and certain color embossings that make it appear golden.
History of the Akhal-Teke
Where and when exactly the history of the Akhal-Teke began is unknown. What is certain, however, is that the Akhal-Teke is one of the oldest horse breeds in the world and was bred in Turkmenistan more than 3,000 years ago. Here the temperamental animals lived in herds in the wild steppe and were only looked after by shepherds on their horses. The elegant breed of horse quickly caught on in China, too, and is said to have been in great demand more than 2,000 years ago.
As a result of many wars, the number of purebred Akhal-Teke horses fell and was only brought back to a stable number by crossing Arabian thoroughbreds. Only in 1917 a studbook was created, which was kept in Russia. Although the stud book is in Russia, Turkmenistan still has the right to keep the stud book. For a short time, around 1920, English thoroughbreds were crossed into the Akhal-Tekkin breed. Less than 20 years later, the mating of Akhal-Tekkiners with English Thoroughbreds was again declared improper. Today, the elegant horse breed can be found almost worldwide.
Turkmenistan still seems very proud of breeding the elegant desert horses and that is why the Akhal-Teke adorns the country’s coat of arms.
Advice on keeping Akhal-Tekes
Every horse is unique, no matter what breed it belongs to. And no matter how long or short the pedigree is, every horse has similar needs, such as those for food, exercise, and social contact. These must be satisfied in order to enable a happy horse life.
However, depending on what the breed of horse was originally bred for, there are many different characteristics: some are bred as sport horses and need more exercise than others and some are more leisurely workhorses. Just remember that the classification into draft, warm-blooded and thoroughbreds is made primarily on the basis of temperament.
With our horses, too, it always depends on the individual creature. Because not all Shire Horse are strong-nerved giants and not every Arabian is a tenacious racer.
Care and nutrition
It doesn’t matter whether you own a large draft horse or a small pony: every horse needs a certain amount of care to stay healthy. The hooves in particular require your special attention. You can read about what you should consider here in the tips for proper horse care.
You also strengthen your bond with your four-legged friend with regular grooming. Finally, nibbling each other’s fur is a common social interaction between horses.
With dogs, cats and mice, one or the other owner may still think about the sense and nonsense of health insurance. After all, cats are said to have nine lives and always fall on their feet. And the cost of taking a guinea pig to the vet may remain affordable. But even with a dog liability insurance, things look different. And especially when it comes to a large animal like a horse.